CANUSIUM (Gr. Κανύσιον, mod. Canosa), an ancient city of Apulia, on the right bank of the Aufidus (Ofanto), about 12 m. from its mouth, and situated upon the Via Traiana, 85 m. E.N.E. of Beneventum. It was said to have been founded by Diomede, and even at the time of Horace (Sat. i. 10. 30) both Greek and Latin were spoken there. The legends on the coins are Greek, and a very large number of Greek vases have been found in the necropolis. The town came voluntarily under Roman sovereignty in 318 B.C., afforded a refuge to the Roman fugitives after Cannae, and remained faithful for the rest of the war. It revolted in the Social War, in which it would appear to have suffered, inasmuch as Strabo (vi. 283) speaks of Canusium and Arpi as having been, to judge from the extent of their walls, the greatest towns in the plain of Apulia, but as having shrunk considerably in his day. Its importance was maintained, however, by its trade in agricultural products and in Apulian wool (which was there dyed and cleaned), by its port (probably Cannae) at the mouth of the Aufidus, and by its position on the high-road. It was a municipium under the early empire, but was converted into a colonia under Antoninus Pius by Herodes Atticus, who provided it with a water-supply. In the 6th century it was still the most important city of Apulia. Among the ancient buildings which are still preserved, an amphitheatre, an aqueduct and a city gate may be mentioned.
See N. Jacobone, Ricerche sulla storia e la topografia di Canosa Antica (Canosa di Puglia, 1905). (T. As.)